Today, Matt is joined by Alex Mehr, CEO and co-founder of MentorBox and Zoosk, NASA scientist, and World Silver Medalist in Physics Olympiad. He shares the story behind his success with virtual mentorship, his tricks to getting ahead in life and increasing your motivation, his all-time favorite book, and more! Hear it all with Epic Real Estate and Alex Mehr on Thought Leader Thursday!
What You Will Learn About Alex Mehr and Virtual Mentorship:
- Alex Mehr’s journey to creating MentorBox
- How he finally convinced his friends to read the books he recommended to them (and how you can, too!)
- How to get ahead in life, one step at a time
- Alex’s trick to expanding many areas of your life instead of just one
- The mindset Alex suggests for boosting your motivation
- His all-time favorite book
- What Alex considers to be life’s most important skill
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Matt Theriault: Hello, I am Matt Theriault of The Epic Real Estate Investing Show, and this is Thought Leader Thursday. Today I’m joined by Mr. Alex Mehr, so please help me welcome Alex to Epic Real Estate Investing Show.
Welcome to the show.
Alex Mehr: Thanks for having me. Glad to be here.
Matt: Yeah, no, I’m glad to have you, too. You know, I stumbled upon you on Instagram, on one of your ads, and I was very intrigued and it was very effective. It got my attention right away.
Alex: It did its job.
Matt: It did do its job. It was perfect. So, I didn’t really know too much about you until I started researching who you were and what you did, and you’re kind of a big deal.
Alex: Thank you.
Alex: I did a bunch a things. I advised a few companies. I started a few companies. My biggest company is an online dating company called Zoosk.com. I don’t know if you’ve heard of it or not.
Matt: I have.
Alex: Yeah. It is, to this day, the third largest online dating company in the world, so I did okay.
Matt: Yes, I’ll say. Anytime you’ve got a household name attached to your company, that’s good. Right?
Alex: Yeah. Yes.
Matt: Good work. I noticed one thing I was going to ask you about. You had, I think it was a silver medal in physics?
Matt: We’re here during the Olympics right now. How do you win a silver medal in physics?
Alex: So it’s International Physics Olympiads. It is a competition among high school students worldwide. Yeah, I was a nerd growing up, let’s put it this way. I wanted to become a physicist. I didn’t fulfill my destiny, but I was really interested in physics growing up.
Matt: Seemingly, you’re in something totally different than that now.
Alex: That’s right.
Matt: So tell me about MentorBox. What inspired you to start that?
Alex: MentorBox is interesting. I went through years of education. I got my PhD in mechanical engineering, aerospace engineering. None of the things that I learned in the school where actually applicable in real life, so I had to start kind of from scratch. I had to read a lot of books, learn things like leadership, teamwork, inspiration, business, marketing, all these things.
And then, as I grew as a person and became successful, naturally, I started gifting books to a lot of my friends. The best books that I knew. I was like, “You’ve got to read this. You’ve got to read this.” But then I realized most of my friends – they appreciate the gift, but they don’t actually read the book. In other words, they like the idea of the book; they know it’s good for them, but they just don’t have time-
Alex: …or reading is not the primary method for people to read a book, so I decided to just create an alternative – a faster, easier, more effective way, which is basically video and audio. And who’s better than the author of the book to actually teach their own books? That’s where the idea came from.
Matt: I get the time thing, because who has time to read a book anymore?
Alex: I do.
Matt: Even now, my Audible app is starting to really pile up, so I was like, I don’t drive that much to get all that in, and-
Alex: Yeah, because [inaudible 00:03:08], that is one way to learn, but the best way to think about it is Audible is linear. It reads through the book and there’s no point. A book has a lot of fluff – things that are not really relevant. Plus, you take a format for transfer of knowledge, called books, and you just read it. It doesn’t do the job.
If you’re going to an audio format or a video format, you want to create content that is built specifically for that format. Does that make sense? It’s as if you go to the movies and, instead of them creating a movie, they read the novel to you. You know what I mean? It just doesn’t make any sense. So they turn a novel into a movie, follows the plot, but it’s not word for word. Does that make sense?
Matt: Yeah, no, totally.
Matt: No, I just signed up. I’m very excited to really dig into it, so you got a new customer, too, so…
Alex: Yeah, welcome aboard.
Matt: What am I not asking? What else do I need to know? What does everybody else need to know? Because I think it’s really cool, but it’s pretty self-explanatory.
Alex: What’s the one thing or area that you think you should be better at – that somebody, or a book, or an expert can bring you up to date in that area?
Matt: The rapidly growing world of technology, and communication, and how people engage and interact.
Alex: So the fact that you’re able to actually pinpoint that – that is a step one. That’s one of the things that I tell people is that I go through this rotation. Every few months, I come up with an area where I feel like I need to improve in. Literally, what I do is that every couple of months, I basically pick that area and then start researching and getting really better at it.
I used to do it primarily through books, so I would go and buy three books in that area. I would read through it. Like, stock market trading, I did that six, seven years ago. I just went… I read five or six books on it and then I started doing it.
One of the things that people ask me is, “How can I get ahead in life?” And my answer is, just divide your life into chapters. So, say, this is 2018. One year is a long time, so divide it into three chapters, or four. Let’s say three chapters. Each chapter is four months, and you say, “In the first four months, I want to master my communication skills,” and then intentionally work on that. And then the next four months, you can work on entrepreneurship. Then after that, you can work on marketing. Does that make sense?
Matt: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Alex: That’s how I think of my life. I’ve lived many different chapters of my life, exactly that way. There was a period of time where I was a scientist, so I was becoming really good in physics, like you mentioned. And then I decided, okay, I like engineering better. So I became a really good engineer and went out, worked for NASA.
But then I said, well, you know what? I want to try entrepreneurship, and then I started… That was a whole new journey for me, so I went and learned a lot of things that goes into entrepreneurship. One of the things I tell people is, don’t try to live one chapter in your life. Imagine a book that only has one chapter, you know? Don’t be that book. Have many, many chapters, and the best way to do it is allocate time to each chapter.
Matt: Yeah, and this definitely allows you to do that, and empowers you to do it, right?
Alex: Yeah. Yeah.
Matt: For sure. So my audience consists of real estate investors, and we have an educational platform, we have a mentorship platform, and coaching, and I really pride myself on… I think we’re the best out there at what we do. We see a gap, though, that it’d take me, I don’t know, 10 minutes to show somebody how to fill out a purchase agreement, so to speak. But why they don’t get up every day and do it every day – that’s kind of between their ears. What would be a good path to really help… people with their self motivation? What would you say was a good path through MentorBox that they might want to follow?
Alex: Yeah, so motivation is actually an interesting thing. Most things in life, motivation one of them, there are different methods to improve them. For motivation, a trick that I use is that I don’t think of what I need to do, I think of the reward.
Let’s say I want to launch a new product, or I want to… that’s too big of a goal. Let’s say I want to launch a marketing campaign for my product, right. So it’s one or two days of intensively focusing on Instagram ads that you mentioned, right. So what do I think? I don’t think of what I need to do. I think of what would be on the other side. So I’m like three days later, my ads are running, and I’m getting a lot of new customers, and I’m happy. That happiness gets me going for the next two days, to intensely focus on the task that I have on my hands.
The time frame doesn’t have to be two days. It can be weeks, it can be… don’t go much longer than that. But if it is a real estate deal, think of the feeling you will have once that deal is done, so the other side. That would automatically motivate you. Imagine you’re going up the mountain, right? Don’t think of the first step. You have to take the first step, but before you take the first step, think of that moment when you’re taking the last step and you just make it to the peak-
Matt: Right, right.
Alex: … and you just stand up, look around, right.
Matt: Use that emotion, that feeling to inspire the next steps.
Alex: [crosstalk 00:09:02] feel it, yeah.
Alex: There’s a clip by Conor McGregor, the UFC fighter. They ask him – once he became the champion, they asked him, “How does it feel to be a champion?” And he said, “I have imagined this moment so many times in my head, the way it would look, the way it would feel, the way the world would look like once I have achieved this, and it’s like a dream that I have dreamt many, many times just became reality.” Does that make sense?
Alex: So he first imagined it and then took the first step.
Matt: What’s the best book you’ve read in the last 12 months, and how did it impact you?
Alex: The best book I’ve read, in general, across all categories, is Pre-Suasion by Robert Cialdini. He talks about when are entering a conversation… because… Let me put it this way. What is the most important thing that we do in life? For most people, it is convincing other people – inspiring other people – to do something, because none of us can do things on our own.
Alex: Do you agree with that?
Matt: Very much so, yeah.
Alex: So being persuasive and being able to inspire others, I think it’s an art. Some people have it more than others because of the way they’re born, but regardless of what’s your starting level, there are a ton of techniques that can actually help make you more persuasive. Pre-Suasion, by Robert Cialdini, literally cuts through it. I don’t know if you’ve read his other book, Influence. He wrote it 15 years ago. That’s a classic.
Alex: I think anybody should read both of these books, honestly.
Matt: Yeah, I’ve read both of them, so it was nice of you to say a book that I’ve actually read, so that was good.
Alex: Okay, awesome.
Matt: Super. So if people want to learn more about you and your service and this great product that you have, they should go to…?
Matt: Very good.
Alex: Basically, think of it as Netflix for books. We bring the authors to teach their books in video and audio format with a simple subscription less than 10 bucks a month.
Matt: Great. Fantastic.
Alex: All right.
Matt: I signed up as an affiliate, by the way.
Matt: Yeah, so if you want to help me keep the lights on over here, go to virtualmentorship.com–
Matt: …and that’ll take you right to MentorBox.com. All right.
Alex: Yes. All right.
Matt: It’s been a pleasure. Let’s do it again sometime.
Alex: Sounds good.
Matt: All right.
Alex: All right.
Matt: Good luck to you. God bless to your success. I’m Matt Theriault, living the dream. Take care.